Ohio Green Electricity
Green electricity used to be expensive and most Ohio suppliers’ renewable energy plans were well above the average rate. Because of the development of utility-scale renewable energy technologies, green electricity now costs far less and is even competitive to fossil fuel electricity. As a result, states developed renewable portfolio standards (RPSs) that require an increasing portion of their electricity comes from renewable sources. But once electrons enter the grid there is no way to track them. So the industry invented an artificial means to do that using renewable energy certificates (RECs). Because renewable energy generating projects can sell RECs to companies and institutions that must maintains their own renewable portfolio standards, RECs are helping fund more Ohio green electricity projects. Those in turn will drive down the price of green Ohio electricity plans.
What are Renewable Energy Credits?
Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) work by tracking green electricity from the green electricity generators to the end customer. A generator issues a REC when it generates one megawatt-hour (MWh) of green electricity and puts it out onto the grid. When the generator sells a REC, the REC acts as a legal claim to renewable energy for its owner. When an end-use customer uses the 1 MWh, the REC tracking system retires the REC. RECs are also not limited to big generator companies. Homes with solar panels that generate enough electricity can issue and sell RECs to their local utility.
How Do Renewable Energy Credits work?
When a renewable energy generator sells a REC, that money goes directly to supporting the production of more green electricity. If you purchase an Ohio electricity plan powered by RECs, your supplier uses that money to purchase more RECs allowing you help support to green electricity generators. With more money, these generators can invest to expand green electricity with new wind turbine sites or solar farms.
How Do Renewable Energy Credits Affect Me?
For the most part, RECs don’t directly affect customers. RECs are very important to both utilities and Ohio electricity suppliers because both are required to increase their electricity generated by renewables from 5.5% in 2020 to 8.5% by 2026. Suppliers and utilities purchase RECs to show the state that they meet the state’s renewable energy portfolio goals.
Why Ohio Electricity Suppliers use RECs
Suppliers use RECs to help their customers reduce their carbon footprint and support renewables through green plans. These green plans could become cheaper as time and RECs lead to more investment.
Currently, only two electricity suppliers in Ohio provide green plans. And though green plans still have slightly higher rates than similar plans, the cost of green energy continues falling as more generation projects come on-line. Annual generated output by wind and solar is expanding and is expected to surpass nuclear and coal in 2021.
In a few years, green plans could become the cheapest electricity plans in Ohio.
For more information on green electricity plans, and updates on their prices, check out https://www.ohenergyratings.com.